Collections: Asian Art: Bodhisattva Guanyin

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Figure of Mother and Child (Phemba)

Such sculptures of a mother nursing her child may have been used to increase or aid fertility. The mirror-covered cavities in the infant&rsq...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Figure of Mother and Child (Phemba)

    Such sculptures of a mother nursing her child may have been used to increase or aid fertility. The mirror-covered cavities in the infant&rsq...

     

    Login to play

    Login with Google ID

    Forgot your password?

    Not a Posse member? Register

    Brooklyn Museum Posse:
    Exploring the collection

    When you join the posse, your tags comments and favorites will display with your attribution and save to your profile.

    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.

    close

    Bodhisattva Guanyin

    The bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, or Guanyin in Chinese, played a crucial role as the protector of the semi-independent Nanzhao and Dali kingdoms (flourished A.D. 649–1253) in present-day Yunnan Province. The creation of this type of protective icon representing Azuoye Guanyin, the Ajaya, or all-victorious, Avalokitesvara, is depicted in the mid-tenth-century handscroll Illustrated History of Nanzhao, which details the miraculous introduction of Buddhism into Yunnan by an Indian monk, himself believed to be an incarnation of the bodhisattva. Significantly, the sculpture displays strong stylistic ties to images from Southeast Asia and India but retains a Chinese flavor in its relatively abstract, linear style.

    • Medium: Cast bronze, traces of gilding
    • Place Made: Yunnan, China
    • Dates: 11th-12th century
    • Period: Dali Kingdom
    • Dimensions: 18 7/8 x 4 1/2 x 3 in. (47.9 x 11.4 x 7.6cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 1995.48
    • Credit Line: Gift of the Asian Art Council
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Bodhisattva Guanyin, 11th-12th century. Cast bronze, traces of gilding, 18 7/8 x 4 1/2 x 3 in. (47.9 x 11.4 x 7.6cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Asian Art Council, 1995.48. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 1995.48_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: This cast bronze image of Guanyin, the God of Mercy, (Sanskrit: the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara), is one of a small group of such figures worshipped as the incarnation of the Indian monk who brought Buddhism to the semi-independent kingdom of Dali (fl. A.D. 649-1253), located in the present-day province of Yunnan, in south-central China. The Bodhisattva is shown standing barefoot, with the right hand raised in the vitarka-mudra and the left extended in the varada-mudra. The elaborate, finely engraved coiffure is held by braids or twisted cords that secure an image of the Buddha Amitabha above the crown which rests on the figure's forehead. The face is finely sculpted with a serene expression, long undulating eyes, a flattened nose and pursed lips. The earlobes are pierced, decorated with heavy earrings, and extend to the shoulders. The neck is formed of three delicate folds of flesh and is surrounded with a wide, decorated necklace secured with a loosely knotted cord at the back. The figure wears elaborate armbands on the upper part of each arm and a string of beads on the right wrist. The high, slender waist is accented with a belt decorated with eight-petaled floral bosses. The long pleated skirt is secured with an elaborate sash knotted at the front and on the hips, and hands in stylized folds to the figure's ankles. Vertical pleats descend on both sides and between the figure's legs. The fabric of the skirt clings to the figure and forms a pattern of horizontal folds across the legs. On the relatively undecorated back of the figure are two rectangular openings, one between the shoulders and one below the waistband. (The Chinese Porcelain Company notes that these openings typically held items of devotion.) Two prongs below the bare feet secure the image on a modern black laminate-covered display base, which measures 3 1/2 in high x 6 1/8 wide x 4 3/8 in. deep. Condition: The figure is generally intact. The surface is relatively clean, and the face is particularly well polished. On the top of the head there is an old, small hole. There are traces of gilding on the entire surface of the figure, especially around the waist, the necklace, neck, and head of the figure. In addition there are traces of an unidentified black substance on the surface, especially on the arms and chest and in the pleats of the skirt. Of the two openings in the back, the lower one is tightly sealed with bronze and the upper one is more loosely closed with an unidentified red-brown substance.
    • Record Completeness: Best (83%)
    advanced 106,008 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."


    Tags by Posse members
    Recent Comments
    08:48 02/14/2011
    Here I vow, here I am determined - I shall hold back nirvana; I shall defer my own end of all flow of mind - till every being, every form and all life in all worlds are free of dhukka...may no being come to harm; may all beings be happy...this I, Bodhisattva, vow; this I, Bodhisattva, desire...



    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.